What once started out to help the people through difficult periods are now being relied upon more and more. For most of us having enough food to survive is taken for granted, something we don't even really think about, we open a cupboard and there is usually something there. But with the current world situation more and more people are being faced with difficult decisions, can they afford to eat today, are they going to skip meals just so their children can eat?
You can see above the warehouse side of the Malvern Hills foodbank, part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust. That's right Malvern, home of Elgar, the Morgan Motor Company and our bottled water, this isn't some inner city borough, we're on the side of a beautiful range of hills. After recently being able to expand their operation into the neighbouring business unit, they have been able to separate their warehouse and preparation area's.
This is a highly organised and well oiled setup, with donated food being brought into the warehouse for sorting and storage. Items best before dates are written in permanent marker on the top to allow for easy checking. Similar products are then placed together. In this one bay for example you can see tea, coffee, long life milk, pasta, rice, pasta & curry sauces and squash. While it may seem that the shelves are well stocked you have to remember this was just a snapshot, items are always going out to help people in crisis to be hopefully replaced by new donations.
In the next unit is the preparation area. People can't just come down and collect what they want. People in crisis are identified by local care professionals, who issue them with a foodbank voucher. Each parcel is then personalised to their individual needs, number of people, dietary requirements and any other special needs like baby food, nappies or pet food. This is then all placed in bags ready for collection or delivery.
This whole operation doesn't run by itself, but is kept going by a team of helpful and welcoming volunteers. Without these people everything would grind to a halt and without humanity people in crisis would stay just that, in crisis.
More about the Malvern Hills foodbank, and what they currently need, can be found here https://malvernhills.foodbank.org.uk or to see how the Trussell Trust is helping across the UK can be found here https://www.trusselltrust.org.